Artenos (/ ɒrtɘnos /)
Offloading from the docks of Artenos you find yourself in the middle of a truly massive city. The bowl-like structure of the city filled to bursting with buildings of every shape and size, from the state manor houses, temples, and government buildings at the top of the hill, to vast open air markets near the docks, to rows and rows of houses in between. Your ears are greeted by a cacophony of noises as traders from the world over ply their trade here.The city of Artenos, dominating one of the smaller islands in the aptly named Artenisian Sound, is the largest and most prosperous city in the Aeillan Region and is behind only the older cities of Nikea, and Apepsos in terms of military power. Artenos has in recent decades established the safe harbor provided by the Artenesian Sound as one of the central points in the transcontinental trade between Felora and Galisea.
Wards of ArtenosArtenos has 11 major wards built largely into the sides of the cliffs that make up most of the Island of Artenos, and around a major natural harbor. As the city has grown, it has become increasingly difficult to build out, therefore it has become increasingly vertical, as it has effectively run out of land to expand into.
Senate Ward: One of the older wards of Artenos, the Senate Ward, known formerly as the Palace Ward, is the center of the city's government. Unlike many other Aeillan cities, the Senate Ward is also one of the denser residential districts in the city.
Old Ward: The oldest district in the city the Old Ward is one of the denser residential districts, it used to be physically larger, but has since been split into three other major wards.
The Yards: A major economic driver of the city, the Yards are composed of most of the city's shipwrights, as well as ancillary industrial buildings, and the residences of many of the yard's craftspeople. It also serves as a port of call for the Republic's military.
Port Ward: Hugging the coast, and the Port Ward serves as the offloading point for most of the trade coming into and out of the Artenesian Sound.
Agora Ward: Home to the skilled craftspeople and some traders in the city, the Agora Ward, is also the commercial heart of Artenos where goods from all over the known world pass through the expansive 10 square kilometer agora (the largest single open feature in the city).
Highland Ward: A residential ward for the working and professional classes of Artenos, where many of the city's semiskilled labor resides, as well as minor government functionaries, and military officers. The Highland Ward is something of a melting pot.
The Acropolis: Built on the ridgeline that overlooks the rest of the city, the Acropolis is home to many of the city's temples, and serves as a religious and cultural center for Artenos.
Hill Estates: The wealthiest of Artenos' residential wards, the Hill Estates, lining the ridgelines to the west of the city are home to the Old Money and the de facto (if not still technically legal) nobility. Most Senators, have their residences here.
Works Ward: Close to the shipwrights in the Works Ward; here the city's various ironworks and a handful of other industrial centers are based, largely to service the needs of the shipbuilding industry.
Feywell: Formerly a ghetto for the city's Elven and Half-Eleven population, the district has become more diverse as the Artensian culture has become more cosmopolitan. In recent years it has become, alongside Lostchurch the sailor's home, dedicated largely to overseas mercantile trade.
Lostchurch: Named by an Eriganese settler in the early post-Imperial, Lostchurch is the elder ward housing the city's sailors. Lostchurch is also often a place where those in the know can buy or fence ancient artifacts.
Important LocationsThe Senate House: Formerly, the Palace of a mad king, the ancient Senate House is the center of Artenos' government, as well as a fair chunk of its civil service. The Senate House is also where the Office of Mercenaries is located, and where mercenaries, adventurers, and privateers can go to be legitimized in their operations.
Agrippa House Shipwright: The largest single shipwright in the city of Artenos, the Agrippa House has a reputation for producing some of the finest sailing ships in Galisea in vast quantities. The Agrippa House has been expanding operations in recent years, attempting to secure a monopoly over shipping in Artenos.
Leandris Company Headquarters: Home to the semi-nationalized Leandris Company, the company headquarters is known for hiring adventurers to go on dangerous expeditions in the Leandran Interior.
House Alimentus Company: Owned by the venerable House Alimentus, the Company bearing their name is a major trading emporium in the city, they offer goods from eastern Galisea, and contracts to defend their ships from pirates for those desperate for money.
The Agora: Home to the largest marketplace in Galisea, nearly ten square kilometers in size, in the Agora of Artenos, one can find nearly any conceivable goods one could want, with even some magic items openly available for sale.
The Temple of the Theia Lugri: Dedicated to the deities of profit, the Temple of the Theia Lugri is one of the more important temples in the city, though it has hard to be serviced here due to the extortionate rate charged by the priests for anything other than the most basic services.
The Ironworks: The core of the works ward, the Ironworks produce a number of manufactured steel and iron goods, mostly for the shipwrights. They do however also produce a number of other goods, sometimes even accepting commissions from adventurers, the ironworks can produce muskets and cannon as well, though in fairly limited numbers.
The City Sewers: Established in the early post-Imperial, the city's sewers carry wastewater in the city, it is also home to the city's Thieve's Guild, the center of organized crime in Artenos.
The Temple of Maia: A fairly sizable temple, built up and supported by the city's working-class, generally accepted as the best place to go for magical services provided by the priesthood.
The Office of Public Works: Located in the works ward, the Office of Public Works is one of the first formalized civil service buildings in the city; and is responsible for maintaining the city's sewers and ports. They will often seek out help in dealing with the local Thieves' guild, when relations sour between the organizations.
The city of Artenos has a mostly stable population of 351,712 persons, making it the largest city in Aeilla by population. The city of Artenos is entirely populated by free citizens of the Republic, as slavery was outlawed, and citizenship universalized over the history of the Artenesian Republic. The population is mostly human, typically Ilosi and Tyroi Aeillans, though there is a significant population of Half-Elves, known as Gitoxoi living in the city as well. Other nonhumans are a sizable, but diverse minority.
The city of Artenos is governed directly by the Artenesian Senate, its legislature, and thus is considered under the rule of the Consul of Artenos, the executive governing body of the Republic. Underneath the Consul and Senate, there is an extensive civil service that handles to day to day operations of the city, collecting taxes, maintaining infrastructure, and enforcing the city's ordinances. The civil service in Artenos is one of the largest and most comprehensive in Galisea, with broad professional traditions stretching back a little under five centuries.
Artenos' most valuable defensive asset is its strategic location; situated on a steep ridgeline surrounding a natural harbor and on an island connected only by a single bridge to the mainland. For this reason, the city, for the most part, lacks walls. There are a few hundred Akritae who are formally charged with guarding the city as well as a larger number of marines and mercenaries who can be called into the defense of the city at a given moment. Spellcasters are fairly common as well, primarily priests with a handful of other casters, that are capable of defending the city. Lastly, to defend against aerial attacks, a number of ballistae are positioned on towers in strategically important locations.
Industry & Trade
Artenos sustains itself primarily through trade, and indeed the city has long since outstripped its ability to feed itself with locally produced food. Instead, Artenos relies heavily on its trading companies, and the centralization of commerce around their city to sustain itself. Artenos does produce a fair number of manufactured goods, including highly sought after ships and other watercraft that make this task more accomplishable, but still is predominantly a commercial rather than agricultural or indeed industrial settlement.
Artenos, due to its strange geography and topography is somewhat reliant on its infrastructure to maintain the vast edifices and vast population of the city. There is a significant water table underneath the city, and indeed large wells have been constructed to provide water for the populace. A complex sewer system moves waste into the sea and keeps it off the streets. The city itself is hard to access relying on one of two winding roads that lead across the Peresté Isauranid from the mainland and of course the much more impressive natural harbor to supply itself with goods that cannot be produced locally.
Guilds and Factions
Artenos has a number of powerful factions vying for power in the city, with most legal factions using the floor of the Senate as their battleground. In this field, the dominant factions are largely mercantile in nature, as even the Old Money in Artenos has largely achieved its wealth and status through commerce. Other interests, representing the skilled craftspeople are also relevant. Military officers also often support the projection of sea power and a more active and militaristic stance in the world, supporting other factions as needed. Outside these factions, the mercenaries and criminals of the city also exert influence, often through threats, bribery, intimidation, and assassination.
The city of Artenos is one of the youngest major cities in Aeilla, having been founded during the era of the Empire as an attempt to build a fortified position guarding the Artenesian Sound. Artenos was initially a military fortification. The value of the natural harbor in the city saw the rapid expansion of port services for the outpost and saw the civilian population grow steadily throughout the Early Imperial into a modest town, and an important, though localized trading hub. During the Late Imperial, as the situation on the mainland became increasingly unstable, Artenos was one of the few urban centers to see its population actively grow consistently throughout the period as refugees from the surrounding mainland towns fled to Artenos, as well as smaller towns and villages on the Calloi Archipelago. During the period shortly before the Feloran Invasions, the city of Artenos was connected finally to the mainland via the construction of the Peresté Isauranid, a grand bridge spanning the channel between the mainland and Artenos Island. Artenos would be besieged several times by the Felorans, before eventually being occupied briefly by the Feloran Empire, even becoming their headquarters in Aeilla for a short time after the Drowning of Antiokos and the loss of the Province of Korentis to Aeillan counterattacks. In the post-Imperial period, Artenos quickly established itself as a safe haven for the trades, and thus a major destination for traders plying the coastal and riverine trade routes. It came to dominate trade in the region, establishing itself as a rapidly ascending power in the region. At the advent of the complex and interconnected system of transcontinental trade, the city of Artenos quickly became the dominant trade hub for the continent of Galisea, using its control over the relatively safe Artenesian Sound, and highly cosmopolitan culture to attract vast amounts of weary traders to its harbor. This has thusly resulted in the explosive population growth that made the city the largest in Aeilla.
Artenos is situated around the largest relatively open space, and nearby cliff faces of Artenos Island, around the mouth a major natural harbor. The city of Artenos is one of the most vertical cities in Aeilla, built up around the harbor and into the surrounding highlands as it grew well beyond the limits of the flatland as the city exploded in size. The result is a bowl-like structure for the city, with many neighbors carved out of the cliffs. The city is entered via either one of two winding roads from the Peresté Isauranid, or via the city's harbor.